Crowdsourcing is a technique that allows tasks to be outsourced to a wide array of people simultaneously. A project that might normally be sent to one individual for help on a specific issue can be sent to "the crowd," where it benefits from numerous perspectives and skill sets.
Minneapolis-based Brand Ninjas
brings this concept to design contests, giving clients the ability to create a design brief and set a project budget, then send it out to a crowd of design professionals (which the company calls ninjas).
The artists submit designs and give feedback, and the client can choose the design they like the best. Every time a designer places in the top three rankings for a client, he or she earns a "belt" similar to a martial arts ranking.
Created by entrepreneurs David Throldahl and Brad Haymaker, the company is already gaining traction, even though it was started just a few months ago.
"It's been shocking to us, how much it's taken off," says Throldahl. "People are really honing in on their ability to find reliable resources through this method." He adds that the design ninjas are worldwide, so the "crowd" that sends in designs might include people from Indonesia, Texas, or Eastern Europe. Becoming a ninja is free, which is part of what's driving the growth, Throldahl notes.
"We just wanted to create a platform where artists can get recognition and jobs, and clients can get more access to an international design community," he says.
Next up for the site will be the creation of a brand toolkit, where site users can store multiple brochures and ads, giving designers a better reference point for bidding on projects.
Throldahl says, "We're very excited about the future with this. The fact that it's so well received already gives us a great starting point."
Source: David Throldahl, Brand Ninjas
Writer: Elizabeth Millard